Reacting to Thursday’s gloomy third quarter economic numbers, Twinkle Cavanaugh fears some of the proposed government overreach, and a return to the days of job-choking regulations, may stifle any hope of a turnaround.
“The economic numbers show just how badly the coronavirus pandemic has hurt our economy,” Cavanaugh observed to Yellowhammer News. “We will come back out of this. I don’t have any doubts in my mind. The hard-working people of Alabama and across the country have spent the last few years building the strongest economy the world had ever seen. Everyone did it. Everyone who worked and everyone who hired and everyone who built a business contributed to a historically strong economy. Together, we can all do it again.”
Reports came in on Thursday that the U.S. economy had shrunk at an annualized rate of 33% during the April through June quarter while COVID-19 cases continued to mount. This was the largest recorded contraction in history for such a time period. Nationally, unemployment claims rose this week while the same claims dipped slightly inside the Yellowhammer State.
There is one big obstacle to the comeback, according to Cavanaugh, who is serving her second term as president of the Alabama Public Service Commission.
“What we don’t need, though, is for government to get in the way of the comeback,” she asserted. “The last thing small business owners, workers, builders or manufacturers need is government red tape. We’ve spent the last few years peeling back all the red tape put into place by Obama and Biden during those dark years for our economy and American workers.”
For her part, Cavanaugh spent significant time from 2010 through 2016 fighting the Obama administration’s rules aimed at outlawing the use of coal to produce energy. And now she fears that, in the wrong hands, another administration will set out to crush the nation’s energy production and take the economy down with it in the process.
“Just look at what Joe Biden has said,” stated Cavanaugh. “He announced that his administration will subject us to the Paris Climate Agreement as soon as he takes office. Why would you promise the American people that you are going to tie one hand behind their back your first day in office? It makes no sense. As soon as he traps us back into the European regulatory system our ability to create jobs and recover from the pandemic is made far more difficult.”
It is the fallout from such a policy move which Cavanaugh believes could have a lasting impact.
“Our energy options will shrink, businesses will have less flexibility to expand and Alabama families will have a tougher road back,” Cavanaugh explained.
The path forward and the effort to dig out of the current pandemic-induced downturn will require some principled policy making, according to her.
“Economic recovery will require all hands on deck,” stated Cavanaugh. “Let’s empower our small business owners, not hurt them. Let’s encourage companies to expand, not make it harder for them to operate.”
And Cavanaugh believes restoration of the nation’s economy begins on the state and local level.
“I have all the confidence in the world in Alabama’s people but not the liberal politicians in D.C. who are salivating over the possibility of growing government,” she concluded. “AOC, Pelosi and Biden want more money for government programs and more control over the private sector. More regulations are poisonous to job growth.”
Tim Howe is an owner of Yellowhammer Multimedia